“If there are no mangroves, then the sea will have no meaning. It’s like a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea!”
— Mad-Ha Ranwasii – Thai fisherman and village headman
Mangroves are a group of tree and shrub species that live along shores, rivers, and estuaries in the tropics and subtropics. They are remarkably tough and grow on muddy soil, on sand, peat, and coral rock. They live in water up to 100 times saltier than most other plants can tolerate.
Mangroves have several functions and adaptations for thriving in saline intertidal zones. They grow in an environment whose salinity ranges between freshwater and seawater.
But most importantly mangroves can fight climate change. Due to their ability to absorb carbon, mangrove forests are known as ‘carbon sinks’ or ‘carbon-rich biomes’. By storing excess carbon, they help reduce global warming as there is less carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere.